In the ’80s the India Today group had an amazing mag called Target. I’m not exaggerating when I say that a whole lot of us used to read, adore and worship it. Target had just the right blend – it was cool and yet informative; politically and environmentally correct, and yet verrrrrrrrry funny; humanistic, and still full of the most adventurous stuff to read and do.
It was brilliantly produced in every way. There was an elegance about the layouts which few mags can replicate today. The writing too had so much clarity and crispness. Sigrun Srivastava, especially, had a gentle undercurrent of humanism in her stories. With people like Ruskin Bond writing for the mag, there was a lot of good reading material in there. There were tons of Funnies and make-n-do pages (my absolute favourites!). Target literally had something for every mood.
The indefatigable Moochwaala by Ajit Ninan was, I think, his best work ever. He’s just never had such a canvas again! And the tuneless Gardhab Das – possibly inspired by Cacofonix the Bard – took care of the slightly sadistic streak that all kids have. He was bashed, beaten and humiliated, but he just wouldn’t stop! Target had some absolutely sublime artists – there was Atanu Roy (whose skills were consistently brilliant), Neelabh and Jayanto, and some really whacky guys who had a deliciously gross, Mad-inspired style.
What was really unique about Target was that it simply radiated energy and enthusiasm. It’s unbelievable that so many talented people managed to gather at one point in time and space. Makes you wonder why there can’t be another Target today – are kids too jaded? Or are publishers too wary?
Sigh… meanwhile, we have a small stack of old Targets left, and are hunting for more. If you’re thinking of hurling out any, give us a shout!
PS: What was your fix? Was it Children’s World? Or Tinkle, Chandamama or Champak?